Well, most of the Lodges in the Province are about midway through their Summer Recess but there have still been events taking place.
First of all, we had the Family Barn Dance which marked the climax of the CCLASP fund-raising programme and during the evening, Bro. Brian Kerley, our Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, presented CCLASP founder Mrs Valerie Simpson with a cheque for £60,000.
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This was a tremendous result by the Lodges in the Province of Midlothian and in making the presentation, Bro. Brian said: "Members of the Province were greatly influenced by CCLASP and the work they do and it was a very special moment indeed when we presented them with the cheque.
We were very impressed by the donation given by the 'Secret Millionaire' and I have to say this spurred us on in our effort to raise as much money as possible.
Reaching £60,000 is way above our expectations and we are extremely humbled and privileged to have been able to assist this truly worthwhile charity in such a positive and committed way."
In response, Valerie Simpson said: "This is a truly remarkable amount, well above what we expected, and on behalf of CCLASP, I'd like to thank all the brethren of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Midlothian, as well as their families and friends, for a contribution that will provide holidays for children and their families."
If you haven't already seen them, there is a selection of photographs from the night on the Lodge website.
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Another big night was the Reigning Masters' Degree held at Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg 720.
Almost 190 brethren signed the book and the Grand Master Mason was in attendance.
I think it's safe to say it was an excellent degree, one which the candidate will remember for a long time.
I really enjoyed taking part but I almost missed the event entirely!! It was the same day as the Olympic Torch was paraded through Broxburn and although I parked my car in a spot I thought was good for a quick get-a-way, I was proved horribly wrong!!
This whole part of the town was in complete gridlock and I eventually had to abandon my car. However, things died down a bit and I was able to make the dash to Bonnyrigg, arriving (thankfully) just before the candidate was about to go in.
Relief all round, as I would have been really disappointed to have missed out.
However, an important night still to come during the summer recess takes place on Wednesday 22nd August at Lodge Colinton & Currie 1029, who meet throughout the year.
On that night, Bro. Jimmy Stewart P.M.D.M. will receive Honorary Membership of 1029. This is a great honour for Bro. Jimmy and for Lodge Kirkliston Maitland and I intend to take a deputation to lend Bro. Jimmy our support.
The Lodge tyles at 7.15pm and I really would like to see as many 482 brethren as possible there on the night.
Finally, I have updated the Lodge web site with some dates for the new Masonic season and you can see these by clicking HERE.
Although 482's masonic season is officially over, the last two weeks or so have proved to be quite busy!!
However, it would be very remiss not to begin without thanking all the members and visitors who attended our last meeting and it's hard to believe that's half my second term as R.W.M. completed.
My sincere thanks goes out to everyone for their help and support, especially in our move back to Kirkliston. It was truly great to see everyone pulling together to 'make it happen'!!
And as I said on the night of our last meeting, I'd like to wish everyone all the best for a relaxing and well-earned summer break.
As I mentioned at the start though, there were quite a few Masonic meetings to attend in April.
On Saturday 22nd, we were at Lodge St. John Fisherrow 112. As they meet the same night as us, it was good to catch up with Bro. Douglas Hoy R.W.M. and all the Lodge brethren and to witness an excellent working of their unique version of the 3rd degree.
There was also a fine harmony to follow and and thanks to everyone at 112 for their hospitality.
On Monday, it was a visit to Lodge Royal Thistle 1338 for Bro. Tommy Doyle's greetin' meetin'. It was a bit of an emotional night for Bro. Tommy on his last meeting as R.W.M. and he enjoyed a full house as the brethren joined to thank him and wish him all the best.
The following night, it was a similar scenario for Bro. John Hardie, R.W.M. at Lodge St. Clair Edinburgh 349. Bro. John was marking the end of three years in the Chair of King Solomon so it was a special night for him as well.
On Friday 27th, we had a deputation to Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No. 85 - a Lodge with whom we share a long association.
The most surprised person on the night was Bro. Les Duff P.M. who received Honorary Membership of No. 85 from Bro. Bob Potter R.W.M. for his contributions to the Lodge over the years.
He was about the only one present who didn't know this was going to happen and it was great to see him honoured in this way.
There were two other Honorary Members in the deputation, Bro. Peter Ritchie P.M. and Bro. Gordon Yeoman P.M.
Of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch, so Bro. Les had to making his usual contribution during the harmony that followed.
The presentations didn't stop there though as later on I had the pleasure of presenting a framed photograph to Bro. Bob on behalf of everyone at 482.
I was privileged to have been able to take part in Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho's 250th anniversary celebrations last year and the photo shows the Office Bearers who were in place at that time.
Thanks also to all at No. 85 for their hospitality in the harmony that followed.
Finally, on Saturday 28th, I attended a first-class ceremony at Lodge Liberton 1201 that saw Bro. Steve Johnson installed into the chair of King Solomon. Excellent ritual from Installing Masters Bro. Keith Black and Bro. Andrew Laven, both PM's of 1201.
My thanks to the brethren of 482 who came along to lend their support at these meetings.
There are still a few more meetings and events taking place in the coming weeks and months.
This Saturday, there's the Installation at Lodge Royal Thistle 1338, when Bro. Gary Sibbald P.M. will be proposing the toast to the Lodge.
The following Saturday it's Installation day at Lodge St. John Corstorphine 788 and the Friday after that sees the Installation at Lodge Dalkeith Kilwinning No.10.
On Saturday 2nd June, there is the Grand Family Barn Dance that marks the end of the CCLASP appeal and on June 13th we have the Reigning Masters' Degree taking place at Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg 720 when the Grand Master Mason will be in attendance.
In Lodge terms, we hope to have some display items in place for the start of the new season and I'll post more on this in due course.
In the meantime, it's thanks again to everyone for all their help and support.
A good bit later than intended, it good to finally say a few words about the past weeks.
Our last meeting was a 3rd Degree and I was really pleased with how everything worked out on the night.
This was the first time we had worked a 3rd at our new home in Kirkliston Bowling Club and we took advantage of the additional space to work the degree in the 'old' style that we hadn't been able to do since we left the village.
Everyone did a great job on the night and my congratulations to all the Office Bearers - and indeed to everyone who took part.
The night before, it was both an honour and a privilege to help present a 40 year jewel to Bro. Hugh Paterson, R.W.M. of Lodge Hopetoun St. John 1232. Bro. Hugh is also a Master Mason of Lodge Kirkliston Maitland.
It's not the practise at 482 to mark 40 years service so being asked by 1232 to participate in the ceremony was a tremendous gesture indeed - and greatly appreciated.
Bro. Hugh had ne idea the ceremony was going to take place and was completely taken aback when Bro. Norrie Austin set the ball rolling.
Thanks again to all the 1232 brethren for allowing us to be involved.
My masonic visits have been somewhat curtailed of the past few weeks as I've had a surprising number of evening jobs.
However, I'm getting out as often as I can and tonight - Friday 13th (!!!) - it's the Provincial Grand Lodge of Midlothian Ball and I'll be attending with Janet.
It will be good to catch up with brethren from across the province.
Looking forward, next Wednesday sees 482's last meeting before the summer recess and this will be a 2nd Degree.
There are a few more meetings in the pipeline of course, not to mention Installations at Lodge Royal Thistle, St. John Corstorphine and Dalkeith Kilwinning.
There's also the last CCLASP event, the grand family barn dance on June 2nd and the Reigning Masters' Degree at 720 on June 13th.
Finally, I'd like to have said a bit more about the Masonic Facebook sites that have appeared recently but I really haven't had the chance to far to take a more involved look.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about this development of course - indeed some are totally indifferent to the entire concept!!
However, this is the 21st century and if we want to reach out to our 'target audience', this is one of the ways we need to go.
More next time methinks!!
What a night we had at the Edinburgh Masonic Club last Friday when £3000 was raised in aid of CCLASP.
A big congratulations to everyone who took part and who helped to raise such an amazing sum for such a deserving cause.
I was truly delighted to see so many 482 brethren there on the night and I think it's fair to say that we all had a great time.
Lodge Royal Thistle 1338 were behind the event, with help from ourselves and Lodge St. John Corstorphine 1338 and many congratulations to Bro. Tommy Doyle R.W.M. and his team at 1338.
Lodge Kirkliston Maitland played a high-profile part on the night with Bro. Gordon Yeoman P.M. as joint Master of Ceremonies being kept very busy the whole evening.
Top marks to Bro. Gordon who kept things running very smoothly.
Our very own Bro. Les Duff P.M. was in superb vocal form, with a string of classic numbers and a performance that must rank as one of his best ever. Well done Les!!
And let's not forget Phoenix Lane, the Scottish Rock/Pop band who's vocalist, Sarah Yeoman, is Bro. Gordon's daughter. The other members of the band are: Christine Munday - Bass, Colin Watson - Guitar and Reg McLennan - Drums. Well done guys, yet another great performance.
With the Family Barn Dance in June still to come, we can only speculate on what the final total might be but I think it's safe to say it will be impressive!!
I've uploaded a photo-gallery of 50 shots taken on the night and as you can see, we all had a great time!!
You can click on individual images to enlarge.